Birds visiting your yard and home can be relaxing to watch, beautiful to listen to, and incredibly exciting for your dog. If you have a yard full of birds or bird houses and feeders around your house, your dog may be barking at them.
A dog who barks at the birds outside your home can not only disturb the birds and scare them away but also annoy your neighbors. There is nothing quite like ruining a quiet weekend morning coffee with a dog barking at your peaceful scenery in the springtime as the birds flit from flower to flower in your blooming garden. Train your dog not to bark at the birds and enjoy your time outside together while leaving nature to entertain you and help you relax. Your dog might see birds as toys or even as threats, so it will be up to you to give your dog entertainment as well as safety and security, so he sees no need to scare off the birds.
Giving your dog something better to do than barking at birds will help with this training. Your dog will also need to know it’s not his job to protect you from the birds around. Getting him to ignore the birds might be more difficult than getting his attention on something else, but you can try both ways to get him to stop barking at the birds. You can offer your dog toys to play with, treats to eat, or a trip back into the house to get him occupied doing something else besides barking at birds. You can train any dog these manners and behaviors. Younger dogs are easier to train as older dogs need to rebuild old habits, but with the right rewards and positive training, even your older dog can learn to leave the birds alone.
Have alternatives ready for your dog as you begin to expect him no to bark at birds. Treats, toys, and puzzle toys with hidden treats to keep his interest can keep him busy outside as he gets used to the birds in his space. Be patient and consistent with this training. High-value treats will also help to reward your pup when he does a good job ignoring the birds and to remind him to leave them alone if he wants to continue to earn rewards.
He barks all the time nothing stops him I'm at the end of my teacher with him birds flies anything my I would say neighbours but I'd say neighbour hood has had enough and so have I please help any advice would be appreciated Sharon and ozzy
Hello Sharon, I recommend combining a few things in your case. First, work on teaching the Quiet command and once he knows that command, practice in the garden around the birds. Once he can respond, then reward primarily at times when he stays quiet when a bird is present - instead of just barking then stopping. Practice this often to help desensitize him and create a habit of not barking - the habit part is important. Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Second, give him something to do while in the garden, other than barking. I suggest a dog-food stuffed chew toy or automatic treat dispensing device, or dog food filled puzzle toy. You won't want to leave those things out there overnight due to animals, but using food filled toys can help train him to occupy himself with his own toys. Look up different ways to stuff Kongs to make them interesting and try a few different ways to see what he lives. Adding liver paste to the toy can also make it more interesting. Finally, barking is a self-rewarding behavior due to the chemicals released in a dog's brain when they bark. Some especially notorious barkers are almost "addicted" to barking itself. Try the above training by itself first, but if you are still struggling, you probably need a form of interrupter - especially one that will work even when pup can't see you. This could be an unscented air canister - called a Pet convincer, which is sprayed briefly at pup's side while saying "Ah Ah" when they disobey your Quiet command (don't use citronella and don't spray in the face), a remote training collar (many high quality e-collars have tone, vibration, and stimulation). You could use the tone as a reminder to be quiet, followed by a brief vibration to interrupt pup - each time they bark, or the lowest level of stimulation pup responds to - called a "working level". There are also stimulation based and unscented air spray collars that are automatic - called "bark collars". Don't use the citronella variety because they are too harsh for a dog's sensitive nose and can linger the scent, making the training confusing. Some dogs will respond to just the air puff but others will need vibration or stimulation instead. If you go a remote collar or bark collar route - it's extremely important to only use a high quality one, such as E-collar technologies, Dogtra, SportDog, or Garmin. Cheap, less known brands online can potentially be dangerous due to poor quality. It's also extremely important to combine corrections with the Quiet training and desensitizing, rewards for not barking, and toys to help with the boredom. The point of the corrections is to "snap" pup out of barking long enough to give an opportunity for pup to learn to calm down and be quiet - then be rewarded for it with toys and treats, to create a new, better quiet habit, in place of the barking. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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